Every Formula 1 pilot will wear a Driver’s Eye camera for the upcoming season broadcasting exactly what the driver sees.
The helmet camera technology has been trialed during the last two seasons but now every driver will be mandated to wear the minuscule camera that weighs just 1.4 grams (0.05 ounces).
The reason for the long implementation period is because safety is a crucial aspect of Formula 1. The camera had to withstand rigorous testing to ensure the camera is perfectly safe, especially in the event of an accident.
The cameras, developed by Racing Force Group, are just 8mm in diameter and are placed within the proactive padding inside the helmet at the driver’s eye level.
The resulting footage enables the audience to see what the driver is seeing and a sense of how he’s feeling. It means fans will be able to see what Lewis Hamilton is seeing when he is doing battle with the likes of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
In a video posted by the Alpha Tauri team, driver Pierre Gasly takes a tour of the Bahrain circuit with the micro camera as he rides along viewers get a sense of how bumpy it is while traveling nearly 200 miles per hour (321 kilometers per hour).
The other striking aspect the camera shows is how little Formula 1 drivers can actually see of the track. With the protection systems that F1 has brought in over recent years, such as the halo device that sits directly in the driver’s view, the driver’s field of view is tiny when compared to a modern road car.
A Growing Sport
Formula 1 has exploded in popularity in recent years, particularly in the United States which will host a record three races this coming season; Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas.
The sport’s American owners, Liberty Media, have masterminded the success of Netflix’s documentary series Drive to Survive as well as pushing its online and social media presence.
The exciting on-track action has not harmed the sport’s popularity either. Particularly in 2021 when Lewis Hamilton duked it out with Max Verstappen all season long which crescendoed dramatically in the final race of the season when the Dutchman won the title on the last lap. Verstappen has remained World Champion ever since, but Hamilton, a seven-time world champion himself, will be looking to take the crown back in 2023.